Peshawar: Issuing strict orders for making Polio Eradication Campaigns (PEC) a success in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the Chief Minister Pervez Khattak directed the health department and district administrations to fully ensure achievement of PEC’s targets through committed and coordinate efforts.
While acknowledging the determination of the provincial government for eradication polio from the province the officials of WHO remarked that “the targets of PECs achieved in last couple of months would not have been possible without committed endeavours of the provincial government”.
The Chief Minister also approved an additional amount of Rs.70.55 million for the PECs of the current financial year and asked the local government department to involve the locally elected representatives in PECs for motivation and monitoring purposes.
Presiding over a meeting of the Provincial Task Force for Polio Eradication, the Chief Minister expressed concern over causes of generation and spread of polio virus and ordered the municipal as well as other concerned authorities to take concrete measures to check contaminated drinking water and other unhygienic conditions and ensure supply of safe water especially to the vulnerable areas where presence of polio cases were reported.
The meeting held at the CM Secretariat Wednesday was also attended by the Provincial Minister for Health, Shahram Khan Tarkai, the Chief Secretary Amjad Ali Khan, Inspector General of Police, Nasir Khan Durrani, Secretaries of Health and Local Government, all divisional commissioners, representatives of World Health Organization, officials of Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization Program and other members of the Task Force.
During the meeting Chief Minister made queries about polio refusal cases, accessibility arrangements especially in remote areas, the security problems and missing children in polio vaccination campaigns and directed the relevant authorities to address all such issues effectively for which the provincial government will extend full support, he assured.
He directed the health department and district administrations that polio workers must reach every nook and corner of the province as there was no inaccessible area in the province during the current season.
According approval to the proposal for making District Health Officers accountable for any slackness or failure in management of PECs, the Chief Minister also directed the district administration to maintain computerized record of every child of the province to any time check status of their polio and other vaccinations as well. He also announced bonus for Deputy Commissioner who will show extra ordinary performance in PECs.
The meeting was told that Polio Eradication Program had witnessed a remarkable progress in the last ten months with almost 85% reduction in number of polio cases compare to same period in 2014.
In the current year, 15 polio cases were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 12 of these were reported from central districts (10 from Peshawar, one each from Nowshera and Charsadda districts) and three cases from southern districts (two from Tank and one from Lakki Marwat), the meeting was informed.
The coordinator for Emergency Operation Centre Mohammad Akbar Khan told the meeting that data analysis of September and October Polio vaccination campaigns indicated significant improvement in achievement of the targets of PECs and Charsadda, Mardan, Swat and Torghar have emerged as best performing districts whereas quality of campaign in October has deteriorated in Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Hangu and Karak districts.
It was also noted in the meeting that security situation for Polio Workers improved after zarb-e-Azab military operation while the provincial security committee also played very effective role in provision of fool-proof security to polio workers.